Meet Deborah McKenzie – Senior Account ExecutivePosted on March 28, 2023
Meet Deborah McKenzie, Senior Account Executive at Schulich ExecEd. In honour of Women’s History Month, Schulich ExecEd is highlighting 4 incredible women in our community: an account executive, a student alumna, and the two leaders of our Leadership for Women program. This is part 3 of 3 in the series.
Joining the Schulich ExecEd Team
After a rewarding 30-year career with IBM Canada, Deborah McKenzie was ready to take her passion for learning and mentorship to the next level. She began teaching marketing and sales programs at both York University and Seneca College, dedicating her time to developing the next generation of business professionals. From there, Deborah moved into a Senior Account Executive role to work with organizations looking for executive employee development programs.
“I feel very fortunate at this point in my career. My passion is continuous learning and self-development, as well as mentoring others to become better leaders,” Deborah explains. “Working at Schulich ExecEd has given me the opportunity to do this by helping companies develop their employees into strong leaders. It doesn’t feel like I’m going to work every day. I’m able to live a purposeful life and help others.”
Getting Involved In The Community
Deborah’s extensive corporate experience has allowed her to quickly engage with senior executives and gain their trust. This talent allows her to continue delivering cutting-edge, customized leadership and development programs to different organizations. One of her favourite areas to work in is the not-for-profit sector.
“I actually have done a lot of work in the not-for-profit sector at Schulich ExecEd. They are very compassionate, not only about their causes, but also about their people,” Deborah explains. “I’ve had a lot of success getting them grants to help them with funding, and I really enjoy working in that sector.”
Deborah dedicates her time to working across various sectors, including healthcare, commercial real estate, engineering, and manufacturing. These industries have all faced significant challenges in the wake of COVID-19, and her expertise and experience have proven invaluable in helping companies navigate through them.
“It was great to see that they didn’t give up on understanding the importance of leadership for their people,” says Deborah. “It was inspiring to see that they continued to invest in their employees throughout the last three years.”
But that’s not all—Deborah is a champion when it comes to volunteering. She has held various roles in community organizations, leading boards and spearheading fundraising. Her most recent accomplishments include the Toronto Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Board of Directors, as well as Patient Champion and Fundraiser for the Practiced-Based Research and Innovation initiative at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Advice to Other Leaders
When asked what skills she feels are most in demand in today’s workplace, Deborah’s answer was simple: soft skills.
“To me, soft skills are human skills – and I’m finding that human skills are super important.” explains Deborah. “ For example, relationship management. Employees don’t leave their organization because they don’t like their job. They leave because they don’t like their management.”
While Schulich ExecEd offers programs in self-management, people management, business management, and organization management, Deborah really enjoys selling self-management programs. She believes that when leaders can understand themselves first, they can then learn the soft skills of using critical thinking, leading with emotional intelligence, and learn how to be a better relationship manager.
Deborah’s journey as a lifelong learner, teacher, and account executive makes her an excellent match for the Schulich ExecEd team. She discovers untapped talent in people and uses her experience with business strategy to help them flourish. And for that, we thank her.